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Heinlein-As Good As I Remembered

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

Well - MTM cracked her whip and reminded me I had to turn in my homework or my dreams of becoming a Cabana Boy for Nic would never see the light of day. In this post, I’ll cover a book that had me both excited and scared – The Pursuit of Pankera: A Parallel Novel About Parallel Universes by Robert A. Heinlein.

As Good As I Remembered

The story covers the alternate adventures of the characters Mr. Heinlein wrote about in The Number of the Beast published in 1980. Without going into great detail to avoid spoilers if you haven’t read it, the story follows Zeb, Deety, Hilda, Jake and the ship Gay Deceiver as they escape from aliens known as “Black Hats.” Their travels take them across time and alternate universes and run across some interesting

people along the way.

The premise of The Pursuit of Pankera: A Parallel Novel About Parallel Universes is that there is a change in the story that leads our team of folks down an alternate path with a completely different outcome at the end. The blurb states that the story was written in 1977, but never published and the manuscript was forgotten, but a recent reexamination of the remaining fragments could be used to reconstruct the story for publication.

Background done, now on to my two cents: Like I said at the beginning – I was excited and scared. Excited because…A NEW HEINLEIN BOOK!!!! I grew up reading Heinlein, he was one of the foundational authors that got me into reading in general and science fiction especially. But I was a bit anxious also because…. A NEW HEINLEIN BOOK!!!! Would it reinforce my memories or would it be a letdown since I’m a bit older and my taste has evolved over time?

Well, long story short, it was a pretty dang good book, with one caveat (I’ll get to that in a second). After I finished the book, I immediately re-read Number of the Beast to see where it departed. Both are well worth your time to read and re-read. My caveat is the ending, it seemed to just cut off, as if they ran out of notes and hit publish. It could have used another chapter or two to wrap things up a bit better.

That’s it for now, talk to you later.

May the sunshine be warm and the margaritas stay cold.


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